Nutella: Is it a spread or a dessert topping? This is the million-dollar question that has federal regulators stumped as they've been challenged to re-define the classification of the popular chocolate-hazelnut spread.


The Food and Drug Administration wants to hear about your Nutella consumption habits. Yes, they want you (to submit your comments in the next 60 days).

The agency is currently gathering information on consumer's Nutella-munching patterns in response to a petition from Ferrero, the Italian confectionery company that makes the spread, to change how it defines and labels the product.

Is it a spread or dessert topping? Apparently this is the age-old question.

Fun fact: Since 1993, Nutella has been labeled as a dessert topping with a serving size of 2 tablespoons. It was traditionally advertised and used as a topping for ice cream and other desserts, similar to how we use chocolate syrup--that is until every kid and adult alike started slathering it on everything they laid eyes on.

That's why Ferrero is challenging the FDA to change its Nutella classification from "other dessert toppings" to the "honey, jams, jellies, fruit butter, and molasses" category, which has a serving size of one tablespoon. Here's why: Ferrero believes the current 2-tablespoon serving size is misleading when the majority of consumers use Nutella as a spread, versus a dessert topping. Those who use the spread to slather on toast are less likely to buy the product when the calories per serving size are 200 with 20 grams of sugar--versus half of both numbers if the classification is changed. This would be a huge win for the Italian candy company and might just help consumers' waistlines in the process.

In our humble opinion (based on how we eat the stuff), it has been, and will always be a spread. Here are 5 non-dessert ways (spoiler: they're mostly breakfast ways!) to use Nutella:

Banana-Chocolate French Toast

Look! It's Nutella, not on the dessert table... just casually stepping in as a filling for everyone's favorite breakfast indulgence.

Banana-Nutella Muffins

Sweet and fruity, rich and nutty, these muffins are definitely a special breakfast--and they just so happen to beautifully highlight swirls of the chocolate-hazelnut spread.


The bagel in this picture is simply a vehicle to get the Nutella and strawberries into yo' mouth. But still, it's clearly breakfast. I've never eaten a bagel for dessert, have you?

#5. Crepes

Nutella and Strawberry Crepes
Nutella and Strawberry Crepes.
| Credit: Alexandra Grablewski; Styling: Gerri Williams

Nutella and Strawberry Crepes.

It's all a matter of when you eat them. If in the morning, it's breakfast.

Chocolate-Hazelnut-Banana Finger Sandwiches

When the kids get home from school, dainty banana-chocolate toasted sammies are just what they need. An afternoon snack like this is a "treat"--not dessert.